The Underground Railroad   -     By: Raymond Bial
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The Underground Railroad

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / 1999 / Paperback

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Product Description

Because the Underground Railroad had to operate in deep secrecy, many basic facts about its history are unknown. No one knows exactly how many men and women were involved in the railroad or how many fugitives were assisted by those committed to the cause. Certainly tens of thousands of slaves, aided by more than 3,200 railroad "workers," escaped to the northern states and Canada, and today scores of little towns from Maine to Iowa have their secrets about the railroad. This book captures beautiful photographs and stories depicting the Underground Railroad.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 1999
ISBN: 0395979153
ISBN-13: 9780395979150
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

By ones, twos, and threes, in the years before the Civil War thousands of enslaved people slipped through the night on their way to freedom, riding the Underground Railroad. Hidden and hunted, the escape of southern slaves to the North remains a compelling event in American history. Within the pages of this book are documented, in prose and elegantly articulate photographs, examples of "stations" on the Railroad, along with images of the routes, lives, and hardships of both the "passengers" and "conductors."

Author Bio

Raymond Bial is an acclaimed photoessayist for children. Four of his books were chosen as Notable Books in the Field of Social Studies by the NCSS. He lives in Urbana, Illinois, with his wife and children.

Publisher's Weekly

"Advantageously reproducing first-hand accounts and Bial's arresting photographs," said PW in a starred review, "the book's most impressive quality is the way it encourages readers to put themselves in the place of the slaves and those who helped them escape." Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

"Advantageously reproducing first-hand accounts and his own arresting photographs, Bial effectively evokes the era of slavery and its divisive effects on the United States." —Publishers Weekly, Starred

"As Bial says in his introduction, photography was not yet invented when many of the daring escapes on the Underground Railroad occurred, and because everything had to be kept so secret, few documentary records have survived. In his simple photo-essay, he tries to re-create the experience of the brave runaways and conductors. He has photographed the places and objects that tell the story: the rivers the people crossed, the plantations they ran from, the homes that sheltered them with a lit window to signal a safe haven, the secret passages and trapdoors, and the courthouse yard where the slave auctions took place. He also includes drawings and prints from the times and a wanted poster for runaway "property." The text provides a brief historical overview, with quotes from some of the leaders, such as Tubman and Douglass. The book design is handsome, with thick paper, clear type, and fine reproductions; there's also a chronology and bibliography. Like a museum exhibit, the stirring photographs help us imagine what it must have been like for those who found the courage to run and to help others." —April 1, 1995 Booklist, ALA

"Judicious use of first-person accounts and historical documents evokes the hardships that black people experienced under slavery and that eventually led them to seek out conductors who could guide them to freedom. Bial's well-composed, dramatically lit color photographs add life to the book, which is much more than a standard history. A map of the Railroad routes and an antislavery chronology are included." —Horn Book

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